- HALF DAY SESSION FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AT MARITIME FORCES PACIFIC – CFB Esquimalt
Representing the Mayor and Oak Bay Council, I was invited to Esquimalt, along with other locally elected Mayors and Council members, to a half day information session on our Canadian Forces Base renewal activities and a tour of some new facilities at the site.
Welcomed by Admiral Truelove and Captain Auchtertonie (Base Commander), and attended by other Navy personnel, the session started with a tour of the new $28M Fire Hall, a state of the art facility that will be opened officially on May 15. Included was a one-hour presentation on emergency rescue operations and a visit to the emergency command centre, based in the Hall, which is built to withstand a nine point Richter scale earthquake.
From there, we were escorted aboard an ORCA, one of the locally built naval training vessels stationed at the Base, before returning to the Ward Room for a complimentary lunch.
Did you know:
- CFB Esquimalt is Canada’s second largest.
- the Base is comprised of 23 sites on 4,939 hectares (over 12,000 acres).
- there are 1,641 buildings on site.
- the Base spends over $500M annually in payroll, supplies, services and construction.
- the Base employes about 4,000 military and 2,000 civilian personnel.
- CFB Esquimalt supports the Pacific Fleet, Maritime Forces Pacific, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton and 70 separate organizations.
- the Base is the third largest employer in the CRD and raised $707,000 in last year’s Workplace Charitable Campaign.
- CFB Esquimalt is undergoing a $1.5B infrastructure renewal program over the next 10 years, with longer term renewal plans for Naden North and Rocky Point.
We also learned that the Base conducts an active community relations program that includes local First Nations, workplace charitable campaigns, historical summer tours of the Base and Naval Museum, Township of Esquimalt, memberships in Greater Victoria, Esquimalt and Westshore Chambers of Commerce and other related activities with United Way.
Related to transportation infrastructure and planning, 8,000 people a day travel to and from the Base and commute from local communities on the South Island, from north of the Malahat and from as far away as Nanoose.
This session was cordial, very informative and provided a great opportunity for a close encounter with the Royal Canadian Navy that made a very positive impression on those of us who participated. Community relations is clearly a priority for Admiral Truelove and his staff.
- MONTEREY CENTRE VOLUNTEERS HONOURED
I joined other Council members at an annual wine and cheese gathering to honour the wonderful Monterey Centre volunteers who make such a significant difference to our quality of life in Oak Bay. I helped serve refreshments and enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with volunteers, Monterey Centre staff and Council colleagues, about the importance of volunteering. There was a distinctly positive energy that filled the room and the event was well attended. Congratulations once again to those volunteers and staff who help make the Monterey Centre such a popular place in which to be involved.
- YES AWARDS
Again this year, we take time to recognize local young people who make a difference to their families, their school and their community, through school-based, extra-curricular and/or community volunteer activities that make a difference to others. Oak Bay boasts many wonderful young people who make many different contributions to community-building and who are some of our future leaders. I am pleased to attend and participate in the annual YES Awards and to honour these young people. Thank you for all you do.
Don’t forget the next meeting of Council, on May 13, 2013, 7:30 in Council Chambers. Hoping to see you there.